Will mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into osteoblasts on allograft?

P A Rust, P Kalsi, T W R Briggs, S R Cannon, G W Blunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tissue engineering approaches for bone blocks previously have used synthetic scaffolds. Bone graft (allograft) is used to fill bone defects, but standard processing can lessen this scaffold's osteoinductive potential. We wanted to test if allografts could be used to produce a viable bone block using mesenchymal stem cells. We hypothesized that mesenchymal stem cells differentiate into osteoblasts producing extracellular matrix when cultured on allografts. We also hypothesized that the addition of osteogenic supplements would increase the rate of differentiation. To test these hypotheses, mesenchymal stem cells were isolated from bone marrow aspirated from 10 patients and cultured on allografts from five donors (Group 2), producing 50 samples. This was repeated on allografts heat-treated to denature bioactive proteins (Group 1), and repeated again on allografts to which osteogenic supplements (Group 3) were added. Group 2 mesenchymal stem cells differentiated into osteoblasts producing higher levels of alkaline phosphatase, osteopontin, and Type I collagen matrix protein than Group 1. The rate of differentiation of Group 3 mesenchymal stem cells increased with the supplements. Overall, it was established that the bioactive proteins in the allograft stimulated mesenchymal stem cell differentiation into osteoblasts, with production of extracellular matrix, and that this differentiation increased with the addition of osteogenic supplements.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-6
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Orthopaedics and Related Research
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Collagen Type I
  • Humans
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation
  • Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Osteoblasts
  • Osteopontin
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Transplantation, Homologous


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